Audi S3 Sportback Quattro 2.0 TFSI Review
High Five

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
25 Nov 2009

Audi’s only hot hatch gains a couple of doors and a clutch, loses a foot pedal and costs cheaper – sounds like a tempting perspective to me.

Five for fighting

Audi is a brand that seems to be a roll in recent times. Just when you thought that Ingolstadt’s new model onslaught has stopped, another one pops out from nowhere.

You can be sure that the new S3 Sportback here won’t be the last new Audi we’ll test drive before the year ends.

So what’s new for Audi’s hot hatch model then? Quite a bit actually – the S3 was previously only available in three-door form and with a manual transmission and this somehow limited its appeal (three doors – not practical, manual gearbox – Class 3A license holders can’t drive). Well, to answer the needs of demanding local car buyers, Audi has introduced a five-door S3 Sportback. Moreover, the new model comes with the Four Rings' brilliant six-speed S-Tronic gearbox.

It won’t be difficult to differentiate the S3 Sportback from the regular A3 Sportback. The hot five-door hatch has been endowed with all manner of ‘S’ style aerodynamic enhancements on the outside, just like on the three-door S3.

At the front, the S3 Sportback has the traditional ‘S’ style egg crate-inserts in plaitnium grey for the radiator grille. The front bumper features oversized air intakes on both sides to feed much-needed air into the engine and the turbocharger’s intercooler.

The rear bumper is deeper, with twin (not the usual ‘S’ style quad) tailpipes. The flanks feature deeper side skirts, S style aluminium look side mirror covers. 18-inch alloys and the obligatory S3 badges round off the enhancements.

The S3 Sportback’s looks have the right amount of aggression and sophistication – it looks more purposeful more than anything else. In fact, the styling is more of restrained aggression if you don’t opt for bright shades like Sprint Blue or Imola Yellow.

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Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 265bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 350Nm @ 5000rpm
Power to Weight 174.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type F4


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4302 x 1766 x 1402) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Turning Circle 10.7 metres
Kerb Weight 1515 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs